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"If I Needed Someone"

(by George Harrison, October
16th/18th 1965, EMI Studios London)

Rickenbackers Folkrock Revolution

One week after the Beatles had been recording the song "Norwegian Wood", where George Harrison let sound the sitar for the first time,  the Beatles gathered again in the studio, and with "If I Needed Someone" they recorded another highlight for their new album "Rubber Soul".

This twang jewel, Fricke writes, was result of an quite astonishing exchang of influence between the Beatles and one of their favourite new bands, the Byrds. Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark and David Crosby had recorded demos in L.A. 1964, all of them acoustic folksongs - until McGuinn saw "A Hard Day's Night" on cinema, or,  more exactly said, the cherry-red electric 12-string Rickenbacker which Harrison played there.

"At once I hauled my acoustic and my banjo to the next music store", McGuinn told later, "and exchanged them for an electric one." McGuinns 12-string Rickenbacker then became trade mark of the Byrds, the coining instrument of the folkrock revolution. The Beatles reciprocated this bow. Lennon und McCartney watched one of the first  Byrds concerts in England in early 1965, and then in August, on a vacant day during their USA tournee, Master Harrison und McCartney visited a studio session of the Byrds in L.A.

("If I Needed Someone" bei YouTube)

"We were recording 'She Don't Care About Time' then", McGuinn remembered, "then George came and  war da really liked this Bach thing I played in the middle (a quote from the chorall 'Jesus bleibt meine Freude'). George said, super. Excellent. He was nuts upon my implementing of the quote." Two months later, George Harrison honored McGuinn by quoting him on his part - when the  Beatles were recording "If I Needed Someone".   The cristallic riffs definiteky were derived from McGuinn's leading figure in "The Bells Of Rhymney", on song of their debut album "Mr. Tambourine Man".  "George put it bluntly", McGuinn said. "He sent us the record and wrote: "That is for  Jim - because of the lick."

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